Details, details. We're upgrading the service that brings you notices of new blog recipes, by email and through a feed reader like Feedly, to make everything more reliable. If you receive a notice to upgrade, please do (free, and easy). And if you get our recipes by email, please make sure to add to your approved contact list, so you never miss a recipe. Thanks!

There are buckwheat noodles, and there are buckwheat noodles, and if you follow a gluten-free diet, you know what I mean. Some brands contain wheat flour as well as buckwheat; some contain yam or sweet potato; several brands are 100 percent buckwheat. I think they all taste so similar that, unless you have celiac disease, you can cook with them interchangeably. Read the labels when you shop at Asian markets; by law, ingredients must be listed in English on packaged foods sold in the United States. Soba noodles make a perfect backdrop for sauces with citrus, and here it's lime that provides the tart balance to the earthy buckwheat. My friend Sarah gave me a gorgeous yellow cucumber, as well as mint from her community... Read more →

For someone who suffers from appetizer anxiety like I do, these little bacon, lettuce and tomato skewers couldn't be easier. The only cooking is the bacon, and you actually have to undercook it to be able to thread it onto the skewers. And, who doesn't love a good BLT? I love to serve these little bites with wasabi mayonnaise, which really packs a punch, and adheres somewhat to the spirit of a traditional BLT sandwich. You can mix up any dipping sauce you like, with mayonnaise as the base. Instead of wasabi, try adding Sriracha sauce, or some of the adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers. Don't want spicy? How about stirring some basil pesto into your mayo, or garlicky Green Goddess salad... Read more →

When we moved from log house to city apartment, I downsized my large cookbook collection, and kept fewer than 100 cookbooks. What made the cut, and why? Slow Cooker Comfort Food: 275 Soul-Satisfying Recipes, by Judith Finlayson (2009) Why I've kept it: In the house where I grew up, there were no slow cookers. My mother's cookware arsenal -- frying pan, roasting pan, and a set of blue-and-white nested CorningWare pots in totally impractical sizes -- covered all of her cooking needs. Though she was a working mom, she never had a slow cooker. I can't imagine how she managed without one. My own adventures in slow cooker cooking began just a few years ago, with a $19 four-quart cooker purchased at a discount store,... Read more →

Some people create beautiful appetizers -- elegant, interesting, the memorable appetizers, perfectly arranged on a perfect platter, that take you by the hand and lead you into the meal. Not me. I have perpetual appetizer anxiety. I want to zoom right past them, to soup or an entreé. Sometimes, however, a host must serve apps. Thank goodness for mini phyllo shells. They are the little black dress of appetizers. Any filling you can imagine looks better in a one-bite cup of phyllo dough. They come in packages of 15, ready to eat as is, or to bake for a few minutes. I've filled them with sweet fillings, and savory ones. Easy, easy, easy. These no-bake pesto cheese bites are savory, and the filling takes about... Read more →

One of my all-time favorite Chinese restaurant take-out recipes, shrimp lo mein finally gets the photo update it deserves. I first shared this recipe in 2008, in an ingredient post about oyster sauce, and I updated the post in 2010 with photos that made this dish look anything but appetizing. I hope these new photos will give you an idea of how much you'll love these salty, slurpy noodles, and how easy it is to make great lo mein at home. The basic sauce, what I call the Cantonese 3-2-1 Trinity, relies on staples from the pantry: three parts reduced-sodium soy sauce, two parts oyster sauce (also called oyster-flavor sauce), and one part sesame oil. You can use this mixture to season all types of... Read more →

When we moved from log house to city apartment, I downsized my large cookbook collection, and kept fewer than 100 cookbooks. What made the cut, and why? The Sriracha Cookbook, by Randy Clemens (2011) Why I've kept it: Small is beautiful, except when it comes to the size of the Sriracha bottle in my refrigerator, which is the largest that will fit on the shelf. This little collection of 50 "rooster sauce" recipes packs a huge punch. Recipes include starters to dessert and even cocktails, all kicked-up with the heat of Sriracha hot chili sauce. Whenever I flip through this book, I get inspired in new ways to turn up the heat in my own cooking. You'll love the miso-Sriracha glazed salmon, the first recipe... Read more →

FACT: Bacon makes everything better. It doesn't take much bacon to perk up any recipe, especially something as fundamentally bland as rice. And kids are more likely to eat a bowl of rice with vegetables if it also has easy-to-spot pieces of bacon bobbing here and there. In this recipe, bacon lends its salty, smoky notes to an already-rich risotto. After rendering the bacon fat in the pot (or the electric pressure cooker, which is my preferred way of cooking risotto these days), you remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and return it to the pot after the rice is done. The rice cooks in the rendered bacon fat, plus a little bit of olive oil. Broccoli, stirred in after the rice finishes, benefits... Read more →